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Iran 75, U.s. 66, United States 34, Israel 34, Brazil 16, Tehran 13, Russia 13, Turkey 12, Moscow 9, Us 9, Libya 6, Washington 6, Iaea 5, United Nations 5, Wilson 5, France 4, Baghdad 4, America 4, Germany 4, Syria 4,
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  CSPAN    Washington This Week    News/Business.  

    September 8, 2012
    2:00 - 4:16pm EDT  

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this. why did you write the book? i thought it would be good to open with this because people can clearly understand what your perspective is. you are an iranian nationalist. you are part of the moderate group that i think some would say an advocate for iran's nuclear policy. can you tell us why you thought it was important >> in iran, i've been advocating for 30 years good relations between iran and the u.s., iran and the west. the problem is the lack of understanding in both sides. americans they do not understand iran. iranians do not understand america.
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the second major problem is mistrust. but mistrust is mutual. americans and the western countries, they need to understand why iran cannot trust the west. they have their own legitimate reasons. like americans and western countries, they cannot trust iran, iranians also they should understand why. being here i thought maybe that the most important job i can do to write a book on the nuclear issue as far as the nuclear issue is the issue number one. for the u.s. and the international community to present it the way the prospective and point of view of the iranians for american public opinion and politicians. to facilitate a possible peaceful solution for iranian nuclear crisis.
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>> there are a number of other questions, and you allude to this, related to trust. what do you say to those americans who argue that iran -- a deal with iran is really useless? that the iranian government cannot be trusted, cannot be relied upon to fulfill its promises? and other people say a deal with iran is not possible because the iranian regime is irrational and committed to defeating the west. and they point to president ahmadinajed's outrageous comments on israel, the holocaust, 9/11, as well as ties to terrorist groups. i think part of this goes to in a person way, does deterrence work related to iran? and can you talk about that? >> you hear a lot on interviews, op eds, reports, they are always talking about ahmadinajed's statement on the holocaust and wiping israel off
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the map. although ahmadinajed himself said this has been completely misinterpreted, although the deputy prime minister of israel just two or three months ago had an interview, the minister of israeli, said from the beginning we knew ahmadinajed has not made such a statement and this was a misinterpretation. whether this is true or not is another issue. blue the facts and the reality is the u.s. policies since the rev nution of 1979 has been based on regime change. it doesn't matter if we have had eight years moderate presidents or a reformist president, or a conservative or radical president. the policy of the u.s. has been regime change.
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therefore, we should not deceive ourselves to just confine the period to discuss the period of ahmadinajed or -- and his rhetoric on the holocaust or israel. this bazzheen the constant policy of the u.s. if you studied the u.s. policies toward iran, you would see continuous increasing of sanctions and pressures even during the moderate presidents, this is the issue. i understand a lot of people they say there is no use to trust iran. and in iran also they say there is no use to trust u.s. this is exactly the same. iranians also, they have their own justification. they say we have democratically elected prime minister in 1953
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they say the dictator shah in iran. they say the u.s. is not true about democracy because he was -- they were supporting dictators. they say the u.s. supported saddam hussein for invasion of invasion of iran. and even the u.s. provided a chemical weapons and technology for saddam hussein to use against iranians, which is true. they have their own justification. americans would also talk about hostages in 1979. they would talk about the embassy bombing in 1982. and both of them have a long list. but my point is this. iranians, they have approached
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the u.s. during all administrations for a comprehensive package and comprehensive deal. when you read my book, you would see that i have explained during three top nuclear negotiators since 2003 during the presidents both, all three top negotiators have sent a message for the white house that we want a grand bargain with you, we want a comprehensive deal and relation with you including the nuclear. but the u.s. has declined. the united states has never proposed iran a comprehensive package. never. my point is this. first, try at least once. i real hi don't care in iran whether we have a conservative
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or moderate president or reformist because i have been working for 16 years under the presidents and i know we did our utmost to get a good -- to bring the relation, to improve the relation with the u.s. and the u.s. always declined. therefore, this is the same policy during ahmadinajed. but they have better justification during ahmadinajed. they use the holocaust and all the these rhetorics which is very harmful for iran's national interests. my suggestion is this. any u.s. administration i hope after the election -- because we cannot talk before the election -- propose at least once after 33 years a comprehensive package including terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, peace process, israel, human rights,
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democracy, all these major points for the u.s. and iranians also they have their own shopping list. and the u.s. also should be prepared to address iranian concerns. if it failed, then come to your public and say it doesn't work to try. because you have never tried. the u.s. has never tried. >> i've been asked to make this reminder for our listening audience and radio. you're listening to the commonwealth club radio program and our guest, former foreign policy adviser who is providing his perspective on the impass with iran. we had a number of questions related to israel and a military strike. and in a recent op ed you gave 20 reasons not to attack iran and you were quite explicit calling a military strike idiotic. tell us why you think -- some
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of the reasons why you think this is the case. and do you fear that a strike can happen within the next six months or so? i don't want to see the war i really don't like it. i don't know what the u.s. gained attacking afghanistan and iraq. trillions of dollars, thousands of americans they lost their lives, tens of thousands of afghanies and iraqis, they lost their life. what was the excuse? weapons of mass destruction. it was a lie. who did it? i don't know. war on terror against the taliban, after ten years now the u.s. is doing its best to negotiate with the taliban how to manage afghanistan. if it was your objective, you
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could do it at the beginning. i really don't understand what u.s. could gain after two wars. this is exactly the reason i see this would be disaster for the u.s., for iran, for israel to go to the fourth war against a muslim country in the region. first of all, if the target is iranion nuclear program, it may delay. but you would never be able to remove iranian nuclear technology because they have -- this is home made. they have technology, they have knowledge, and if you destroy one facility they would build it tomorrow another facility. this is not the way. and i think that the main loser would be israel. already israel is isolated
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worldwide. and another war pushed by israel i believe would create more hateness toward israel. america and the israelis, they are doing their best to introduce iran as threat number one in the middle east. i understand why they are doing their best. for me, i understand. but a poll by arab institute covering 86% of arab countries in 2011 shows by a ratio of 15 to 1 it means 96% of arab people, they consider the u.s. and israel as the number one threat. only 5%, 6%, they consider iran
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. are you going to win the nations? this is how arab streets and muslims are thinking about the u.s. this is why i don't like it. i want to bring a major change to the 1.5 billion muslims to americans and america? >> as a followup, do you think there can be peace between iran and israel? >> here is the crux of the matter, i believe, is more hostilities between iran and the u.s. would bring more hostilities from iranian toward israel. israelis, they are doing their utmost to create more hostility between iran and the u.s. they are pushing the u.s. toward a war. but they do not understand that this would create more
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hostilities toward israel. i believe raproachment between iran and the u.s. is the only way to modify iran's position. and i really do not see any other alternative. >> so in that sense you think it is possible that iran at some point could recognize israel's right to exist? >> the recognition of israel is not an iran issue. almost the majority of u.s. allies in the region, like saudi arabia, also they do not recognize israel. i mean, why you are always talking about iran? why are you not talking about the u.s. allies? they do not recognize israel. a majority of them. we have 57 countries. how -- muslim countries.
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how many of them recognize israel? more than 50, do not. or at least the majority do not -- i don't know exactly the numbers. but i'm convinced 100% i'm sure the majority which they all have even good relations with the united states, they do not recognize israel. recognition of israel is not iran's issue. it is an issue with all muslim countries. with 1.5 billion muslims. i think netanyahu's policies are the major problem with the peace policies. if he was really rational, he would have cooperated with president obama on two-state solutions. he is blocking the two-state solution. if he was cooperating with the u.s., with the u.s. president to bring the two-state solutions and if iran was going
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to have this agreement, then you could claim iran was against it. >> there are a number of questions related to intent. you stated at the beginning of your remarks as well as in your book your belief that iran is not attempting to acquire a nuclear bomb. that iran's nuclear intentions are completely peaceful. but iran has failed to be transparent and in many caseses arguably has misrepresented them. what is iran trying to achieve by being so definet? and again, as a followup, you talk about the difference between making a decision to create an operational nuclear weapon and having the capacity to produce a nuclear weapon. are they not one and the same? >> i believe 80% of realities related to nuclear talks between p 5 plus one and iran
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has not been discussed in u.s. media. the realities, the facts. that's why the u.s. public opinion, they're unfortunately deprived from the realities. in 2010, february of 2010, the head of iranian atomic energy organization, which now is the foreign minister, proposed the p-5 plus one to provide fuel rods for tehran reactors, which is a reactor built by americans. and it is used for ice topes for 800,000 patients struggling with cancer. they need fuel rods to continue to run this nuclear facility. iranians proposed that we would not increase the level of
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enrichment beyond 3.5%. if the u.s. and the p-5 plus 1 provides the fuel rod for tehran. in order to build the fuel rod, you need to increase enrichment to 20%. then to build the fuel rod. without 20%, you cannot build it. it was iran who proposed to the u.s. and europeans that we do not want to have high level enrichment. we want to stay below 5%. we don't want to have 20%. just give us the fuel rods. the western countries, they declined. iran had no other option to increase the level of enrichment to 0%. -- 20%. when you read stories about iranian nuclear issue, today the core issue is 20%. iran has enriched up to 20%. therefore, they want to make nuclear bombs.
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this is the story you read everywhere. but they don't tell you the truth. in september 2011, iranian foreign minister and president they came to new york here for the united nation assembly, and they proposed the u.s. and the west. they said now we have 20%, we are ready to stop. we are ready to go back to 3.5% if you pro provide us the fuel rod. because about a million patients with cancer need it. and they said -- they declined. twass iranian proposed to stop 20%, to go to below 5% as long as enrichment is below 5% it is no danger of any nuclear weapon at all. everybody knows. then iran had to build its own
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fuel rod. to run this reactor. but again, in the summer of 2011, the russians brought a proposal to the table. twass -- it was -- i was shocked how iran welcomed this proposal. because the russian they proposed for iran to implement additional protocol and subsidy arrangement called 3.1, maybe you don't know what this is but just to brief you. if a country accepts these two arrangements, this would be -- the country would be committed to the maximum level of transparency which internationally exists. tens of counriss, they have not been ready to sign additional protocol even today because signing additional protocol you have to give access even to
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your military sites. many countries, they hesitate. this was one part -- and these two issues is the major requirements of the united nations the council and atomic resolutions. the major requirements on transparency is for iran to accept these two additional protocols and sbisidry arrangement called .1. another element of this proposal was for iran to be committed not to exceed enrichment beyond 5%. keep enrichment activities always below 5%. the other element was to give 100% transparency not based on additional protocol. even more. here, i was shocked. i heard iran has given positive
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signals. to add this positive military dimension there was a question they said to add this issue, which iaea requires, iran has to give access beyond additional protocols. i mean, those access which no single country in the world is ready to give to the iaea. unlimited access with no restriction. beyond additional protocol, beyond npt. the other element was for iran to have only one enrichment facility. iran already has two and has announced would go for ten. because to build 20 nuclear power plants proposed by the u.s., you would have to have many enrichment facilities.
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the russian proposal was for iran to have only one. the russian proposal required iran to stop developing new generation of centrifuges. all these are legal by npt. all legitimate and legal. at the end of the proposal was for iran to suspend its enrichment for three months. i personally was shocked. how tehran has even a green light to p 5 plus 1 to accept such a proposal which would give access to the iaea beyond npt, beyond additional protocol , unlimited access, to have only one enrichment to stop a new generation of centrifuges, all these restrictions. but iran's foreign minister publicly said iran is positive
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toward the initiative and is ready to discuss the details. but immediately the u.s. and europeans reject it had russian proposal. my argument is that at least this proposal could be a base for negotiations. this is the fact. i mean, even today, even today on the negotiation table americans seem they know very well, and i can guess state department is also very much willing to go for such a deal. but you know the position of congress. they don't want the u.s. president to recognize the rights of iran for enrichment. this is the official statement of the congress. if iran is supposed to be a member of npt, if iran is supposed to be a member of international community, they should be no discrimination. this is the legitimate right.
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why europeans have enrichment up to 96% and iran cannot have enrichment below 5%? the reason i'm supporting iranian nuclear rights, because this is not a matter for ahmadinajed. this is an issue of national pride and consensus in iran. no matter we have conservative presidents, reformist presidents, even clerics or shah. this was exactly the red line of the shah, the u.s. allies. the shah was also emphasizing on the rights of the iranian nation under the npt and this was exactly what the current negotiators are emphasizing. they don't want anything more than their rights. like any other member of npt. if the u.s. is prepared to
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accept, then you would see iran would open all doors for transparency, cooperation, to give all assurances that this country would remain as nonnuclear weapon state. >> a short followup question. it seems to me that the right to enrich and peaceful use of nuclear energy is a matter of principle for iran. and the question here is, as a practical matter, would iran consider or are they considering alternative energy sources, solar, others, that may somehow be part of any kind of solution? is there -- >> of course we would welcome all sorts of energy. but do you mean that iran would accept to be deprived from the rights under the npt for peaceful nuclear technology? no. if those are making these
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arguments -- the iranian nation would never accept to be discriminated or singled out. it is impsible. >> the next set of questions had to do with the policy making process and very loosely what i call who is in charge. can you talk more about the iranian making process? who has the final say? there's considerable confusion i think among the audience i would think and others in the united states about the role of the the president, whether ahmadinajed or others on one hand and iran's supreme leader, the ayatollah comainie and the mullas. so can you give us a better sense of whether can speak for iran and under what circumstances? and then there's a larger question about the competition that happens. because i think in iran it's
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not a monolith. there's a lot of different factions. how does that play into all of this? >> if you compared the iranian constitution with the american constitution, you would see 95% of authorities of iranian supreme leader is like the u.s. president. here the u.s. president ultimately should have the final say on foreign policy, which many times he cannot. like engagement policy with iran he failed because he couldn't deliver. in iran, the ultimate decision maker by constitution is the supreme leader. but it has a process. we have foreign ministry, presidency, we have national security council, which the speaker of parliament, head of judiciary, foreign minister, defense minister, interior minister, they all are there. and they discuss the issues.
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and they decide. then they send the decision for the leader to approve. if the leader approves, they can implement the policy. if he rejects, they cannot implement the policy. but in order to understand iranian decision making processes, look, during the time when i was a part of the nuclear negotiation team from 2003 to 2005, all nuclear policies we had, we decided to implement additional policies. we decided to implement subsidiary arrangements momentarily. we decided to give access to the iaea voluntarily. even we decided to suspend iranian enrichment for a while as a confidence building measure. but voluntarily. although iranian leaders
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personally didn't like -- none of these policies, but he did not reject it. because this was the national security council decision. at the same time during ahmadinajed, they decided to stop additional protocols. you see, completely different policies during two administrations. and during all the time the leader accepted our proposal during ahmadinajed also the leader accepted. although from the beginning he believed as much as we cooperate more with iaea and with the west on nuclear programs, they would increase presures more and more and more because they don't want the u.s. telling us they want to deprive iran for its rights. they o know we don't have nuclear weapons, they know we
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don't want a thuke clear weapon. but they do not want iran to have enrichment. that's it. that's why he was telling us that's why they are after suspension. and still, this is the western policy. their core request from iran is suspension. >> let's talk then or move to the negotiations themselves and components of that. you have talked a lot about that already. i found it really i want resting in your book. you talk about the current dedlock as the result of two missed calculations. and one part, on the part of the united states and the europeans, and one on the part of powerful factions in iran. you also talk about how both sides have learned their lesson. would you elaborate and inform our audience on both of those points? >> during all time, very powerful faction in the country
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believed that the western, the u.s., european threats for referring to the security council is just a bluff. we knew this was not a bluff. we knew they would do it. the reason they were saying it's a bluff, because they were telling us, look, we are cooperating with the iaea. the iaea frequently has reiterated that there is no evidence of diversion. we are a member of the npt. we don't have a nuclear bomb. why they should refer the case to the security council? and why they should sanction iran? there is no reason for it but we knew the issue is political. it's not legal. legally, they were right. but politically they couldn't understand.
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this was a big problem. and they believed we were intimidated or even if we are cooperating with the western demands, but a real objective was preventing iran from referring to the security council and sanctions, while defending the rights of iran. ok, they changed the policy and they understood this was not a bluff. because the case immediately was referred in 2005 when they -- 2005, 2006. when they started enrichment plans facilities, the case was immediately referred to the united nations security council although iran had no bomb and had no decision to make a bomb. from the other side the european counter parts had something in their mind which they were hiding from us. but i could read the nuclear negotiation team, they could
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read. we were telling them that if you think you would be able to bring iran to a final cessation of its nuclear program through prolonggation of suspension and negotiation, you are wrong. it's not going to happen. if iran has accepted to suspend for a short period -- this is for a short period -- nonlegally binding and just for confidence building, no one in iran would be able to deprive the nation from its rights. but they had in their mind, because of the u.s. pressure, prolonged negotiations and asks the iranian to suspend as long as negotiation continues. when they brought the first european package, the three european ambassadors they brought to me as i explained in my book in august 2005 before
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ahmadinajed took office i saw it was a 10, 11 page proposal with good incentives. i just checked one point. suspension. they asked in that proposal for iran to suspend for the period of negotiations, full stop. i asked them, what do you mean by this? period of negotiation, one month, one year, five years, ten years? one century? what's this period? they said, you know, ambassador, at least for ten years. immediately after the leader read the notes of this meeting, he said look, this is what i told you from the beginning. you should not trust them. they are lying. and then they started start
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enrichment. we felt -- i mean, not true negotiations. this was a miscalculation in the european side and we had also within our country a miscalculation that the case would not be referred to the united nation security council. i believe now they have learned lessons. americans and europeans, they understand regardless of whose ruling iran and the amount of sanctions and pressures, iranians would not give up their rights while they are saying, reiterating, emphasizing, emphasizing that we do not want a bomb. iranians also have understood pressures, sanctions are serious. and this is not just a bluff. this is the best time for both after this lesson to sit together, for the u.s. and europeans to propose iran a
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list of transparencies, objectives for nondiversion of its nuclear program toward military purposes. a list of measures for confidence building measures. whatever this list is, they know how to prepare such a long list. in return, to respect the original rights of iranian nation under npt and if iran accepts transparency measures, confidence building measures, gives 100% transparency for its enrichment program, stay under 5% and all these confidence building measures, then gradually lift the sanctions. because the sanctions only are analyzing the iranian nation.
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the people. and they always keep to say iranian nations may be the only nation or among a very limit nation which lack relations with the u.s. and they like the u.s. why are you penalizing this nation? >> we have time for one last quick question, one minute. and this evening for those people here in the audience and those listening on television and radio what do you want them to take away from your remarks here this evening? about one minute. what would you like them to take away from your remarks? >> to end hostilities. 33 years of hostilities between iran and the u.s. is enough. i believe enough is enough really. do we want to continue these hostility force another 33 years? it doesn't work. this is my main message.
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>> ok. thanks to the ambassador. >> thank you. [applause] >> our thanks. we also thank our audience here and on radio, television, and the internet. we also want to remind you that copies of the ambassador's book are on sale in the lobby and he will be pleased to sign them in the lobby meedly following the program. this program has been held in association with the commonwealth club's middle east forum. now this meeting is adjourned.
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>> we continue the discussion now with foreign policy scholars. they'll discuss the last years of negotiations aimed at preventing iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. this is just over two hours. >> good morning to you all. my name is settero, i am the director of the brazilian institute. on behalf of my colleagues and the rest of the middle east program, we would like to welcome you all to the wilson center this morning. it's very nice that you could
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join us. also joining us is a bigger audience that is following these proceedings on c-span. i need to give you a bit of an explanation about howard's and rob's absence this morning. they planned to be here but a very sad and unfortunate event for the wilson center family made them be elsewhere. as we gather here in washington , they are on their way to bloomington, indiana, along with the center's president and c.e.o., jane harman, the chairman of our board of trustee's joe guilden horn and members of our senior staff, to attend a memorial service for nancy ann lee, the wife of our former president and c.e.o.,
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lee hamilton, who passed away last month in tragic circumstances. the wilson center community loved nancy dearly. we mourn these extraordinary losses and embrace him and his family at this time of sadness and remembrance. early last year, we convened a meeting in this very room to reflect on an unsuccessful effort led by brazil and turkey in may 2010 to bring iran into compliance with its obligations as a member of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. the pursuit of an agreement on iran's nuclear program remains a source of great tension at the top of the international agenda. the failed mediation by brazil and turkey was followed by the
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adoption by the u.n. security council and by individual countries of more economic sanctions against iran. last april, the government of tehran accepted to resume negotiations, this time with the representatives of the five permanent members of the security council plus turkey and germany. four meetings have taken place in switzerland, turkey, and russia. talks are expected to continue after the u.s. presidential elections. experts who participated in our seminar of february 2011 on the mediation effort have returned to the wilson center today to assess the ongoing negotiations , compare what's going on now to what went on in 2010, and
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reflect about possible outcomes. i am very pleased and honored to introduce to you again the doctor, founder and president of the national iranian-american council. he is a former wilson center public policy scholar. he dealt extensively with our topic of discussions in his latest book, a single row of president obama's policy with iran. i'm also pleased to welcome back to the center dr. musstaffa kib la are you. he has become the charne of the international relations department and director of the center's region studies at the university. scheduled conflict prevented dr. monica hers, the director of the institute of international relations at the catholic university at reowe
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dejannero to join us in person but she sent us her presentation in the form of a nine minute video. and sum rises brazil's perspective on the subject of today's seminar. last but not least, i'm very happy to be able to have with us our colleague michael admer public policy scholar of the middle east program. michael is an expert on nonproliferation issues, has been following this, having cord the topic extensively as a correspondent for the press and news agency. with that, i would like to invite michael to start us off.
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>> good morning. this is a sad day for the wilson center. i am sure that nancy would be happy that we're going ahead with doing things here. i want to cover the history of diplomacy and iran in 12 minutes. [laughter] i'm not going to do a with those bags, the history of the world and 5 seconds. it is a very long story that has been going on since 2002 when an iranian resistance group revealed that iran had things -- some hidden nuclear work going on. and had been doing is for two decades. then the iac investigation began.
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in 2003, i started with a october come in 2003, but the investigation started in february of 2003, when a nuclear watchdog flew into teheran. -- tehran. the outlines of the story have not changed from the very early days. iran is going ahead with its nuclear program. it feels justified, saying its nuclear program is a peaceful effort to generate electricity and to do some medical isotopes, and that it has an inalienable right to do this. the u.s. position is that iran is secretly seeking to develop nuclear weapons and, under the guidance of the npc, and under -- under the guise of the non- proliferation treaty and under
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the guise of the technology that is the same technology used to make a power reactor, under the guise of that, they're pushing ahead toward a weapon. up until october, 2003, the united states was pushing very hard to get iran referred to the u.s. security council for not being forthcoming. remember that there was the war in iraq. there was a strong push on the part of the europeans, especially britain, germany, and france not to go to the security council because they saw iran going the way of iraq. going to the security council would be a mandate for war. their was a lot of jockeying going on. it was a very strange situation. countries like france had been at odds with the united states over iraq and did not want to be at odds with the u.s. over iran, but wanted to stop the united states from doing what it did to iraq.
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we had a dramatic event where the foreign ministers of france, britain, germany, in october, 2003, flew into tehran and struck an agreement where iran would embark on uranium enrichment. it is the ultimate in dual use technology. it had the united states stepping back and britain, germany, and france became known as the eu3. they were running the diplomacy. in november of 2004, iran went along with this saying they would also be a part of uranium enrichment.
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but he doesn't buy, eu3 was submitting a proposal to iran promising help for its program. this is where you get another big in theme. the eu3 was unable to do much of anything because the and the -- because the united states was not there. they looked over the european shoulders and kept waiting for the united states to appear. nothing can happen without the united states stepping in. the iranians rejected the proposal. then, the eu3 mission ran out of steam. and that meant a job became president of iran -- ahmadinejad. -- of course, what also happened during this time is that mahmoud ahmadinejad became president of iran.
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there were hopes that a different man would become president in 2005. it did not work out. it through their diplomacy into a state of chaos. then we had a u.s. start. may 31, to dozen 5, u.s. -- 2005, secretary of state condoleezza rice says the u.s. is ready to join in talks with iran if irn suspends uranium enrichment. the united states thought this was an incredible concession. after 31 years of lack of diplomatic relations, the united states had taken the first step. the iranian reaction was, where is the beef? he want to suspend a uranium
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enrichment and this is the one thing we do not want to do. they thought this was an empty gesture. the united states but it was a significant, historical gesture. just to show you how difficult this process is and how one side makes an effort and the other side takes it as not much of anything. then you had a new offer in june, 2005. now the eu3 merx into a different group. -- merges into a different group. now, the united states is willing to lift all sorts of sanctions. including selling plane parts, including agricultural. they were willing to give iran a light-water reactor. this was a serious offer. once again, iran rejected it. saying we do not want to spend -- suspend the enrichment.
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we suspended it for two years and nothing happened. and now we have much greater capacity. now we have a second dark ages. the policy failed and iran started moving ahead significantly its nuclear program. in august 2008, iran stopped cooperating on this issue. it is dead in the water. then you have president obama being elected. he sends a message to iran were come up for the first time, he -- where, for the first time, he addressed the government directly. he had campaigned saying he wanted to have engagements. then something happened.
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in june, 2009, there was the election with demonstrations. there was a real problem in washington. there was a question should you negotiate with ahmadinejad's administration. are they credible? the united states decided to go ahead with it. the in the states put together the idea of a fuel swap. iran would ship out most of the uranium it has. iran would still be able to continue to average. -- to enrich. i think this offer was a the facto recognition of iran's right to enrich. the united states and its allies are giving iransomething they were asking for since 2003. a year, the time it would take
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the renter enrich back up to -- to enrich back up to this level -- you have a magic compromise. you have a tremendous gesture on the part of iran. iran agreed to it at first, but it fell victim to domestic politics in iran. it fell apart. turkey and brazil at the same -- get the same numerical agreement they had with some differences. one, they drew up something called the tehran agreement. they said their rights to enrich inalienable we recognized. meanwhile, between october, 2009-may, 2010,iran had started
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to enrich to 20%. that means there were much closer to nuclear capability. that was not addressed at all in the major 2010 agreement. the other problem i see with the may, 2010 agreement is dead iran -- that iran was going outside the establishment. this was unacceptable to the united states. on those four points, i know some of you will disagree with this strongly -- on those four points, this was not a good deal for the and it states. -- for the united states. they went ahead with much tougher sanctions. then you have an effort in december, 2010, to revise the diplomatic process. iran came to the meeting saying their condition was that sanctions should be lifted and
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its right to gingrich should be -- write to enrich should be unequivocally recognized. -- it right to enrich should be unequivocally recognized. the iranians stopped negotiating because the and it states wanted to have a modified deals what agreement. they said we will not talk to you until you lift all feel sanctions and recognize our right to enrich. war talk starts building. he had his real seeking more and more wanting to know what is going on. it had a meeting in march between president obama and netanyahu. they agree there is still a window for diplomacy. then you have three meetings,
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in april in istanbul, may in baghdad, june in moscow. the meeting in april is very hopeful. the iranians come. there were talking very concretely -- no longer rhetoric, the logger saying -- no longer saying capitalism is destroying the world -- they are talking nuts and bolts about nuclear issues and they want sanctions to be lifted. sanctions would not be lifted. iranians are disappointed. they insisted iran must first stopped enriching to 20%. things start to fall apart. things really fall apart in june in moscow, where the conversation is very simple. -- civil. the conversation is very technical.
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it is not rhetoric. yet,there is no move to any agreement. the talks fall apart. the russians did not want the talks to fall apart in moscow, so they agreed to have an experts' meeting here that is what is continuing. where are we now? we are in a situation where there is much more talk of war. we're wondering the israelis are going to attack. there is more discrepancies between israel and the united states over what constitutes a red line of nuclear capability by iran. obama has said and repeated that them getting a nuclear weapon is the red line. this is a real source of contention between israel and the united states. is diplomacy dead? it is in suspended animation. i just spoke this morning to brussels. no one is saying it is over. they're moving towards talks
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between the iranian representative. and the p five + one representative. he meeting before the election is not ruled out. that is where we are now. sorry i took too long. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much, michael. who would like to invite mustafa kibaroglu to give a perspective on turkey. turkey is involved in the negotiations. they happen to being next door neighbor. they have learned to have relations with iran. it is a pleasure to have mustafa kibaroglu back here and have an opportunity to listen to his updates, his presentation since our last meeting in early
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last year. >> good morning. i know it is a sad day for the center. i would like to express my deep sympathy over your painful loss. i would like to start by thanking call for inviting me. -- thanking paul for inviting me. i am excited. they came all the way from turkey, 5,000 miles, for this event. it will be 10,000 miles both ways. do not put too much pressure on me for time. two minutes per 2,000 miles.
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thank you very much for everything. i would like to express a disclaimer. everything i say is my personal opinion. i am not responsible for -- they are not responsible for anything i say here. i can assure you that my perspective, which is one of the prospective that you can
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find, it is not self-promotion. it is because i am in this business. i got acquainted with iran's nuclear program when i was a fellow in the united nations. i was in a three-month fellowships. it was a time when russia and iran signed a bill. -- signed a deal.
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i noticed it was different than other bilateral agreements. one item struck me, which was 15 undergraduate students would be sent to russia every year. -- 5000 graduate students. that is how i started doing research. since then that was the time when i published something -- if i can find it here, let's see -- something that i published, which was titled "is iran going to clear?"
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based on the capability that iran would acquire. i thought, when the time comes, iran might have the determination to have nuclear capabilities. the capability to build atomic weapons. that was in the 1990's.
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since then, i have published articles, continue in my research. when i was a fellow, i was invited to join a turkish delegation. i joined with a number of government officials, with whom i had a chance to discuss and ask questions, which culminated in this one. good for the shah, bad for the monarch. they were cited with the people i studied with back in iran. they were very generous to cover my expenses.
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a was quite comfortable. since then i continued to look into the subject. this is a highly important subject from turkey's standpoint. those people think iran is a problem of nuclear capabilities. for turkey, it is not even a problem. turkey will be the most negatively affected if iran developed the bomb. the comparison between turkey and iran [intelligible] for the last few hundred years, turkey and iran have been in peaceful relations.
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but do not like to use the term rivalry. if and when iran acquires nuclear weapons technology, it is a game changer. the views i often see in the west and in europe is as if turkey does not care about the rent's position with nuclear weapons. this is not the case. in turkey, there exists some sympathy with iran developing nuclear technology. the public sentiment might be on the side of iran. but government officials, diplomats, many academics, journalists, there are differences of opinion, but i do not know of anybody in the
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turkish government who says, who cares if iran gets the bomb? on the opposite, it is a prime concern for most turkish security. the president has been clear in his remarks, saying, and i am paraphrasing, pretty much what i just said that turkey would not like to see that. the prime minister was on tv quoted as if he was supporting iran hostage technology. but he said was that my friend ahmadinejad said that he would was not developing weapons, so i trust him.
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i can tell you this -- the issue is a prime concern. we are neighbors, and transparency between the two, there is a neighborhood issue. the second thing is the public sentiment over the last 10 years, especially the and then it states coming to the region, the support presumably given to the northern iraqi. [intelligible] the public sentiment is not on the side of the and and it
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states or israel. the government, which now received almost half of the votes in the last election [intelligible] on the one hand, there is this public sentiment, but on the other hand, there are intelligence reports. iran seems to have benefited to a lot from not having a solution to this process. they have turned down the declaration. i have written on this and published it in the november- december issue. you can read it if you are
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interested. it is on my website. i know for a fact that throughout all of these negotiations, almost moment to sleep every second -- something happened in cyberspace at some point. for some reason, the and and the states decided to turn down the offer. it was a time when the united states finally got the support of china. the state department did not want to risk the support that was later on used against iran. how does iran benefit from that? no 20%? he just turned down this offer?
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ok. what if iran declares to the world that they would enrich their uranium? would there be anything preventing that? it would be legal. theirs no interpretation. i am not going to go into details, but is it possible? advancing its capabilities. every time theirs a deadlock, iran goes further. iran is excelling in nuclear technology.
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what shall we do? first, we are still in the negotiating stage. there is hope for a negotiation. we have not burned bridges. we are not hopeless. there are options. the negotiations must continue, the p 5 +1 negotiations. i did not see anything that would require germany to be more involved than turkey. many german scholars or politicians do not think iran would like to attacked germany or western europe? turkey is nearby, and it is all
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about worst-case scenarios. turkey should be more involved. i can tell you with great confidence that we turks can understand both sides better than they understand each other. iranians may not get the way europeans think. they make themselves clear. europeans may not understand the way iranians tell them. turkey can be not only a facilitator but a good mediator for a solution.
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not only should turkey be more involved, the only high-level people but lower level people, not only just one or two day meetings in russia or geneva, but covers is taking place in various places. run has serious concerns, regional and economical -- iran has serious concerns, regional and economical. he can think about israel. pakistan. these are all different issues.
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we should not forget the fact that time is on iran's side. the worldwide public opinion is on their side. even in israel and the united states, there are offices making a statement against iran. iran is not any rush. the nuclear program cannot compare to libya's nuclear program in the past.
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iran is there for 2500 years are more and will be there for 25 hundred or more. -- 2500 or more. so they just take their time. they are not any rush. iran is already being treated as if they have been clear weapons by superpowers.
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why would they go one step further to attract that? therefore, we should not forget thatiran is already entertaining the prestige of having the capability. and, we should not forget, has the nuclear capability. if there are any questions, i will be ready to answer. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] thank you very much. we're going to move to the next, which will be monica herz's presentation. mustafa used the 6 minutes she didn't. we will be on time after her presentation has concluded. we will watch monica herz. she is from the catholic
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university in rio de janeiro. she sent us a video. >> but like to start by thanking the wilson center for this invitation to take part in this debate. unfortunately, i am not able to be in washington. i would like to start by reminding you we had this conversation at the wilson center after turkey and iran and brazil signed a deal. during that debate, i tried to point out that this was a unique moment for our understanding of brazilian participation in international affairs and policy.
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this is a country that usually does not take part in dealing with crises in regions except in the middle east, particularly issues related to weapons of mass destruction. fortunately, we are in a region free of weapons of mass destruction. this was a moment when, due to the changing tendencies in brazilian foreign policy, they seek greater role in international forums in terms of international responsibility. brazil tried to take part negotiations dealing with the crisis. on the other hand, this was also an issue where brazil was able to express its discontent with the regime.
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it discontent with the the discriminatory nature. it was a moment when brazil was able to express this discontent regime. on the other hand, this was also a moment when the crisis of the regime itself became quite clear. and brazil's participation in the crisis became clear. the whole idea that iran would be responsible enough to enrich uranium ore have weapons of mass destruction.
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it is not acceptable to a country that always had a multilateral list view of international issues. this does not relate to iran's foreign-policy were even its obtaining weapons of mass destruction. but the idea that all countries have the right to enrich uranium and have access to this technology. the development of sensible technology. this is the point of identity between brazil and iran. it is very specific and no conclusions should be made regarding the specificity of the identity. that agreement was trying to
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allow iran to move forward in its specific plans for developing a nuclear reactor, and at the same time dealing with the concerns of countries in the international community that to not want to iran to move towards nuclear weapons. the agreement, though reached, was not accepted by other members of the international community. as the security council moved towards sanctions. today, after so many months have passed, what we see is that the choices made do not seem reasonable. perhaps, though disagreeing with the details of the
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agreement, perhaps that should have been a path that brazil could have been engaged in -- could have engaged in iran in a different way. i would like to invite you to think and debate about the possibility of getting others involved such as brazil. the negotiations are not moving forward. the sanctions have, according to many analysts, moves iran further towards nuclear-weapons instead of doing exactly the opposite. the fact is that today israel is again talking about bombing iran. position,azil's though maybe not a solution for
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the problem as a whole, could been -- could have been an interesting contribution. allowing for a different path of negotiations to take place at the same time. i would also like to stress that, as the regime in prices, the nonproliferation regime, it is necessary to take into consideration that this is a regime in crisis. it is necessary to involve new emerging powers into the building of this regime. brazil can play a key role in this respect. it has a very -- in terms of not having a nuclear program.
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the action of either sanctions or force at some point, but always negotiating with very specific conditions. the action of negotiating with only one group and only one track has not been the best option. so i would suggest that we look back to this experience and perhaps incorporate some of the elements of this experience in order to understand the situation now and move forward. we do observe some changes, the cooling of relations with iran. the government has been more concerned with constructing more positive and cooperative
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relations with the united states and also has a different posture regarding the human rights regime. it is very critical of the political and gender as it -- and gendered situation in iran. this was very clear when the president visited brazil in 2010. the treatment was different than the treatment given. in spite of these differences, the interested in engaging in participating in building a new road to negotiations is still there. i hope that these observations can help your debate and during this event. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> thank you. we will relay your closet to monica. last but not least. >> thank you so much. >> let me start by -- >> i do not know how to use computers, so why will just sit here and not use a powerpoint. thank you to the woodrow wilson center for organizing this. this is very powerful mindful of the fact that this series started talking about a few opportunities in the brazilian- turkish deal. if we look back on what has happened since then, it is the outlook we need to take a look out. on both sides, there is a missed opportunity. in 2009, we were presented with a proposal with whatever flaws they saw in that proposal, it should be clear by now that if they had accepted it iranians would be in a better position
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than they are now. it the position turkey and brazil managed to get iranians and mature on would have put the u.s. in a better position today with regards to whenever technical flaws or numbers are in it. at the time is perhaps not seen as fully operable. we had it more than 20% in the enriched uranium, more of lower enriched uranium, and at the same time, we have far more sanctions including sanctions that are increasingly heading the population and are starting to create a situation in the country. overall, it does not seem like anyone is winning. it seems both sides are losing. there is a-dynamic in which the game is putting more pressure on the other -- there is a negative
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dynamic. are we making any advancing of the key objectives here? michael, you put it quite correctly pointing out the significant reason, but not the rain and reason -- main reason, as to why these opportunities have been left in the past are oftentimes because of domestic politics. in 2009, they have legitimate concerns about the structure of the deal that was pretty firm then. and not stop after the front election of 2009. it was a more decisive reason then with the concerns we had. similarly, in 2010 when the united states rejected a deal to go to iran and negotiate based
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on the letter that was sent to the stove to leaders on april 20 of that year -- the reason that was not accepted had more to do with american domestic policy than whatever numbers in the deal did not seem to be optimal. the united states government had given a promise. he united states promised that if it would just wait and let the u.n. get multilateral sanctions, it could go along with its own staff -- sanctions -- unilaterally. if the sanctions had been imposed before then, there would probably be no unilateral for multilateral sanctions. the agreement would fall apart. what happened is that two days before everyone arrived in iran, they came in with an agreement
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for the sanctions proposal. the white house has to break one promise. would it break the promise to the leaders of turkey and brazil or would it break the promise to congress? six months before a crucial midterm election, the administration felt it had already lost today much political capital on the health care debate and it would not be wise to break the promise to congress. now we are in a situation where i do not share the optimism with turkey being able to play a critical and constructive role as it did in 2010 in development of the region. it is a difference between the 2010 government and now.
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that is part of the cost of missing these opportunities. we have now entered a year. we saw how domestic policy can be a critical reason as to why negotiations did nothing. it was because of domestic policy that he obama administration push aggressively to get to the table again and get iran to come to the table earlier this year. that was because a whole new sanction -- set of sanctions had put -- had been put on iran. as a result of the estimate -- estimation of the assumptions -- the sanctions, they drove up the prices high. when you have high gas prices, incumbent presidents do not win elections. they needed to be able to push that that. secondly, there was a
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calculation within the administration that the biggest against any unilateral israeli military strike would be detrimental to u.s. interests and it would be to have an ongoing diplomat -- the only solution would be to have an ongoing diplomatic process. that would benefit the administration in the election. it is also true that in an election year, the political maneuverability that governments have do not tend to be as high. coming to the table, both sides did not have the flexibility needed to get a deal. the summer meeting was quite a success. it has not been given the right credit. the framework on how to negotiate -- you cannot have half the half negotiations without a framework.
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there were the principles of reciprocity. there would be a step-by-step process. reciprocity would be followed by proportionality. if the united states offered irreversible concessions to the iranians, the iranians would have to reciprocate with an irreversible concession of their own. these were great principles and they were in the framework of the nonproliferation treaty. coming to baghdad in coming to moscow, it became clear that both sides had grand demands of the other side, but were not willing to match that with equally grand concessions. the u.s. made it clear. he wants to see a scenes of 20% investment -- in which meant --
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enrichment. baghdad made it clear that sanctions relief was not on the table. sanctions relief just happens to be the number one or number the tea party that the iranians want. the iranians were seeking a significant listing -- lifting of sanctions but were not willing to operate the -- offer the same. in moscow, it has become clear that the pact is the administration was thinking about it probably would not go anywhere. they were thinking about potentially going be, meaning much more would be put on the table and much more would be
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asked of iran. there would not be as high demands, but there would be more essential elements, but not the whole three points that were originally asked for in baghdad. the calculation became that big of was not possible and small would not be politically beneficial. success in moscow would translate into a failure in washington. even if the deal could be had on a small-scale, it would be so heavily criticized by the republicans and political opponents of the administration and because it was small, it would not be that easy for the administration to defend it. if they succeeded in moscow, it would translate into political favor in washington. the administration's political calculations were correct.
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there was failure in moscow and not a single entity of particular importance for complaints about the fact that a deal was not struck. no political cost to be paid for having not struck a deal. going forward, we see that the strategy escalates further with more sanctions. the iranians are escalating in their way. an obama official said he had done something that he thought was clever. they made sure they walked back from the american red line in the sense of having transferred more of their 1% leu while walking much closer to the israeli line, which is to include new cascade activities. that exasperates tensions that already exists between the united states and israel regarding the different time lines. we are imposing more and more sanctions.
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the sanctions are starting to hit the general population much more extensively than it is hitting iran's nuclear population. this is a point to keep in mind. in conversations with the administration, i think the main station has taken several positive steps to be able to do something to alleviate the pain being imposed on the up -- the iranian people. for instance, making sure there was general license to send help to iran after the earthquake in northwest iran a couple of weeks ago. those exemptions are not affecting the financial sector. the banks refuse to send any money there anyway. this is the point -- this is going to become a point and down the line.
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the population needs to vent their anger for their own government and blaine -- blame the government for the misery they find themselves in. on the one hand, the a birds with the government is overwhelming. this is starting to hit the medicine supply in iran. hospitals are not having access to medicine any longer. of all the diplomatic hardships that existed, it was difficult for people to decipher who is more to blame. is it the corruption and incompetence -- of the regime? is it the sanctions? when it comes to medical
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choices, it is clearly as a result of the sanctions. in the negotiations, the u.s. made it clear. sanctions relief was not on the table. as a result, again -- even talking to people in iran who actually thought -- truly disliked his regime, they would have been more angry if the regime had accepted the deal. going forward come i think it will be extremely important to read calibrate. if this enables the government to overcome its differences with the population, the type of pressure that the sanctions during to get the government to change its policy will not come
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around the way the administration would hope for. thank you so much. >> we are not going to open for your questions in the tradition of the wilson center. we are talking but a nuclear subject, but we always try to generate light, not heat. i ask you to identify ourselves and ask a short question to one or more than one on the panel. please, ma'am? >> i just got back from a week in tehran. there was something sad about the shifting balance of anger in the population toward the united states. for our turkish connolly, how
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much damage has the syrian issue done to turkey's ability to be any kind of mediator? if you could talk a little bit more about what you would like to see from the obama administration if reelected and how much damage would be done if it is romney? >> that is a leading question. >> thank you for that question. i was going to reply anyway. it is the potential to still have impact on negotiations between iran and the united states. iran has a lot of experience in terms of diplomacy. diplomacy comes from cows and goats -- obstacles. it is a bigger issue.
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i am an optimist by nature. in point is, if there is going to be communication anyway, turkey should be a part of them. turkey has the ability to deviate from the mainstream and go toward been little. -- the middle. if turkey does not play this role, who will? can you tell me of another country in this region?
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syria has done certain damage, but has not destroyed the potential. >> thank you. i think 2013 is going to become an extremely importing here. if obama is reelected, the first year of a president's second term tends to be one of the best years. that is when they have a maximum maneuverability. this issue, as complicated as it is, this is not the most complicated issue humanity has ever encountered. it is the politics that make it complex. if all, is reelected, he will have greater maneuverability that he has this year. as a result, it would be good to go back to the principles of this sample. i thought that was a good framework to get this resolved.
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what it is step-by-step or not, personality is critical to this. i would suspect that the president would be thinking about his legacy going forward. re-election has definitely been a guiding star of thinking this year, perhaps earlier as well. if the republicans continue to dominate congress and get the senate, i do not foresee him having a lot of chances to create a legacy of domestic policy. he will have one or two 03 issues that he can make a priority. by -- one for two or -- one or two or three issues that he can make a priority. as a result, i would suspect
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that the president would choose this. it would be critical to make some type of investment in the type of sustainable diplomatic effort that is needed. the administration should be commended for having kept the diplomatic track of life. if they get to the table politically, it is no sense in calling it quits and having to pay that some one more time. it sends a signal that this is not an issue like any other conflict of this i mentioned can be resolved through 1, 2, 3, 4, or five meetings. i would also recommend to go slow on the escalation dynamic. both sides can escalate. the problem is there an escalation of options are becoming fewer and more dangerous.
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that leads to a more difficult and dangerous situation that existed four or five years ago. i think we have to be careful to avoid a scenario in which the iran sanctions become what he cuba sanctions are today. something that few people argue are actually affected. -- effective. we do not see the resolution of the situation. we just see something that is cementing a negative status quo. >> hills lawyer with the u.s. naval academy. thank you for all of the panelists' xliv presentations. what are the lessons to be learned in what seems to be a consistent record of frustration. we see the breakdown of the
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geneva agreement, the apartheid agreement. we see a series of meetings without results. what are the lessons we have learned out of this? >> to put things in perspective, one single find going forward is that the dynamic has changed more than they think. we were talking but the agreement in his temple. it was -- in istanbul. the whole issue of 20% and iran called for sanctions to be released. there is a problem. iran phiz to life negotiate from the original thought that iran ds to want sanctions
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to be lifted for them stopping 20%. the question about the tehran agreement. they said their right to enrich with being unambiguously recognized. the whole thrust of the agreement is to negotiate with iran on the nuclear issue, nothing else. the nuclear issue stems from a u.s. trade council. to think that within the margins of this issue there is that much room to change going forward, i think he may find it is not true. talking about political considerations, it is frustrated by the fact that israel is still there and the united states has its eye on israel in this situation. and israel is not about to let
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go of its concerns. i think there has been a lack of dialogue, a lack of diplomacy. it would be good if the two side with sit down together and hold discussions that are not oriented toward results but to feel out positions and feel out how each side can help the other. but it buys was to just sit down with them and have tea and say, how is your family? -- but my advise was just to sit down with them and have tea and ask, how is your family? the big question is, when we get to the end of the process, will
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iran still be able to enrich and how will that work out. that is a big picture kind of proposal. it is difficult in this environment to present to that proposal. i would assume that if obama is reelected, this might be an avenue that they might explore. there is a t5 +1 meeting that i do not think is going to happen. the united states does not want turkey to be involved. one thing that will certainly happen is that within the international forum between the united nations in new york, there is ample opportunity for diplomats to talk to each other. in vienna, there are diplomats who are completely aware of the technical nature of the
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technical issue. that has been misused by the united states. washington feels there are too many voices talking. when there are too many voices talking, you do not know who is talking. they want to get the issue with one voice so there is no confusion about who is talking. i think we are missing a huge chance to explore with ambassadors who really know the issue and can hold off the record discussions to explain how can we go toward you. that has not been done enough. track 1 has gone nowhere, unfortunately.
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as a result of talking to diplomatic channels, that has not been done enough. if obama is reelected, perhaps we can show the iranians how we can work through these channels to get to that. if romney is elected, that my set us back quite a bit. >> there are a touchy questions. .-two questions [indiscernible] iran might be put under much tougher sanctions.
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i am not saying iran is going to get the bomb. if that would be the case, sanctions are enough to leave that capability alone. the united states may or may not want to get involved. the united states would not want to see that kind of thing happen. one thing i have not already explored is why the commission was going to fail.
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there was something a year later that was pronounced by the turkish prime minister. he said the iranians had agreed to suspend in richmond after the -- enrichment after the declaration was put in force. they expressed objections. it was adopted by the countries. iran made promises to the turkish side. would leave italy suspend in richmond. it came up one year after the tehran -- that they would
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eventually suspend in richmond - enrichment. -- enrichment. every time we do not agree to the level that we are, we pay a much bigger price. >> i have a few quick points. no one has more billy lead and you put together with united states and iran can learn from each other. if i can add two or four points, it would be better to bring other countries in. in the absence of trust that exists between the west and iran, elements like turkey or brazil for other states is needed. the u.s. diplomats are expressing a lot of frustration with the format of being -- of
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the t5 +1. it has problems in it. there are ways to complement its that is possible. i am sure something is being done behind the scenes. beyond that, i would say -- it goes back to the political will. none of these major deals that have been shot, whether it was the fighting agreement or when libya and gave up its program -- what happened was the political will to push forward realized that a deal was better than no deal.
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they got to a better situation and from there on, they worked to improve it even further. expecting a perfect deal to emerge from either side is a guaranteed to fail. >> back to their? -- back there? >> i am surprised no one brought up the meeting and the back channel discussions. there were martin senator's comments in london to the joints chiefs -- martin dempsey's comments in london to the joint chiefs. i have a question. with the obama policy in libya, there had been threats by russia
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toward an escalation to thermonuclear conflict. how does the iran situation in? why is martin dempsey coming out opposing formal obama policy? are we going toward aggression toward libya, syria, and iran? >> i do not understand the question. . .
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as you pointed out and israel and romney would dump all over and create an issue that i can tell you they will avoid. but the question is, is iran aware that obama will have more opportunity if he's reelected to, markets make a deal more or less on the lines of istanbul, which look very close to being an agreement? >> go ahead. >> questions, i do believe the iranians are aware that no significant movement on the key issues that they're interested in, such as sanctions relief is possible in an election year. the problem, though, is they are so suspicious and doubting obama's ability to deliver, even after having been reelected, so i wouldn't
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be surprised if there are elements there who may be it would be better for them to have romney elected if the assumption is this: if there's not going to be any deal, anyways, because it's not possible or because the u.s. doesn't want to go, because themselves don't want it, who is more problematic for you on that? well, obama has managed to put more pressure and more sanctions on iran than any other u.s. president, he has managed to get the asian countries to cut oil purchases from iran, managed to get them to unilateral sanctions way beyond anything in the multilateral sanctions and done it by pursue ago policy in which he minimizes differences with those countries in order to make sure they come to closer agreement on the region. >> there was a session at the rnc -- iran. there was a session with the rnc with several ambassadors from several countries, many european, it was a closed
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session, talking about what a romney campaign would do when it comes to relations with russia and other countries. without going into too much detail, several of the ambassadors walked out because of their frustration and disappointment of what was being communicated. if you're sitting in tehran, you may think that is pretty attractive. because a romney administration that can't maintain that type of alliance management is going to make it easier for them to play the other states against each other. >> milton hoenig, international institute for studies, the one thing you hasn't mentionside the talks between the iaea and technical representatives from iran on issues like answering the iaea's questions on the military dimensions of iran's nuclear program, or also, about just the a -- iaea making a visit
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to parchon, which is cleaned up of any nuclear activities or explosive facilities there. do you think that such talks have any possibility of progress if there's nothing on the p5 plus one level? >> as i said in my talk, the possible level of nuclear iranian work, the investigation into that has been stalled, has gone nowhere since august 2008. parchin, i head to -- i spoke to the head of the iaea early they are year and he made it clear that visiting parchin was the line in the sand for the iaea. that was the first step they would have to take in order to report the negotiation. iranians have said we want to have a structured agreement on how we proceed with the negotiation before you go first to pacchin and of course the news reports about the satellite images of
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alleged cleaning going on in pacchin -- parchin, shooting ducts of water, because the way the iaea discovers things is environmental sampling and take a cloth and wipe it on the surface and from that they get atomic particles and iran has been allegedly shooting water and digging up earth so that the sample would not be the original surface. the iaea investigation is going nowhere, and the two sides are still to the point where they had a meeting to agree on going forward about two weeks ago and the iaea basically said there's no point in meeting again since we're getting nowhere, and an iranian came out and said these are difficult but constructive discussions so we should go forward. so there's a lack of communication there. i think you should not overestimate the extent to which the problems in the iaea are linked to the p5 plus one. i think right now, the point of view of the p5 plus one is that the iaea investigation has been stalled for so long
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that it's almost separate from the political process and only when the political process, if and when it gets going again, could you start looking at the iaea situation. so that the problems in vienna to not stop progress in the p5 plus one and probable the p5 -- problems of the p5 plus one do not mean that things can be wrapped up or that it's over for vienna. >> i think there is a question. is there a question? no. i will let this gentleman have the next question and we'll move there. >> my name is mike at kirsh with the laruse policy institute. my question is from two standpoints. what they said about this being a technical issue and more of the political context and really shouldn't be a difficult thing, on the question of iran, my question is on the context and the political context of dealing
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with iran from two stand points. one, the response of russia and china to the current policy of the administration, with respect to intervention. and, second, which is a seeming on the surface discrepancy between some of the administration officials and what's come out in the israeli newspapers in the last couple of days. first, the russian military has said in recent the kind of intervention between national satisfyernty we saw with libya in which we could now see again with iran, we could see with syria, could lead to full-scale regional wars, including the use of nuclear weapons. mark hahrar said the same thing. >> and the second point so is this policy continues -- the second point is netanyahu canceled a meeting with his security staff just a couple of days ago due to leaks that after dempsey's speech in london, a leak in the israeli
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newspaper said that the white house and the -- or the u.s. would not back israel as long as iran did not attack the united states, seeing as how we're on really a close threat here, kind of a ghost of the cuban missile crisis, where the administration is saying one thing, whereas the joint chiefs have asked obama not to -- to tell israel not to attack iran, and obama reportedly said i'm sorry, that is not my position to stop iran, so -- >> we get it. >> so -- >> and if any of you would like to comment, respond? >> >> we'll take this as a comment. >> if the libya policy continues, what is now the way we should deal with iran? we're in a new world if we are -- the administration is doing this kind of violation of the world powers, et cetera. >> is there anyone that --
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next, please. it goes to the next gentleman. >> suppose iran admits everything a bit like pakistan, it says we'll eat grass, in order to have nuclear power, nuclear bombs, weapons. what do you think should be done then? >> the iranian position very strongly is having weapons of mass destruction is a violation of the religious principle, so if your question is saying what if iran said they want to have nuclear weapons, that's not a minor thing. their argument is that for religious reasons, they don't want nuclear weapons. >> many people don't believe that. >> many people don't believe them. >> but if they say we would like -- >> well, if they said we're lying, then -- if they said we had a weapons program but stepping down from this program but stopped it?
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>> no, if we had a weapons program and they lied about it. >> well -- >> this is a clear violation of the obligations, and the united nations security council should take measures against iran and maybe intervention. but to the previous question, and one that was asked from behind, i don't think the world would go to a total war because of the iran situation. russia and the united states is not necessarily in charge of -- russia seems to be supporting iran's position, because it's one of the best customs that they've had over the past decades, at the time when russian needed hard currency it was iran who offered this, and secondly, anything that bothers the united states, that russia could control would be something would have leverage, that -- but it
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comes to reality, iran's nuclear weapons will secure the russians. we should think not think -- we should not think of this as russia on the side of iran when iran gets the bomb and the united states on the other side, and fighting each other -- it's not going to pass. >> i'd like to point out that russia has been very, very -- a very good citizen in the p5 plus one and certainly in moscow, where they were a host, the russian representative told me when he met with iranians he avoided discussing any of the russian feelings that might be different at the p5 plus one. he presented the p5 plus one position and i don't think it's anything new that russia opposes a military intervention. they've been saying that from day one. but certainly one reason the united states may have
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injected the orders is their tool in this conflict chance the p5 plus one and the using of the p5 plus one and so much of the diplomacy is into keeping that unity together, and in terms of the p5 plus one, russia and china have signed on to the u.n. security council resolutions and they have signed on to presenting a unified position to the iranians in these talks. >> did you say something? >> if the iranians were to either come out and say they actually do have a nuclear weapons program or come out and say they would have -- actually do have nuclear weapons rest assured the national organization would intensify further and whatever existed in the past in putting pressure on them in some quarters would probably at least in the short and medium term go away. i don't think iran would gain anything in particular.
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strategically as well. the problem, though, is if one is pursue ago policy based on the assumption that they're doing exactly this, and by that, eliminating all of the possibilities and eliminating all of the policy options to explore as possibilities, that's actually a bigger problem right now, mindful of the fact that both the e.u. -- the u.s., as well as the israeli intelligence agree on three things. there is not a nuclear weapons program right now in iran, an active one, two, there is no decision in iran that has been made at least not yet to actually build a nuclear weapon, so they don't have a nuclear weapon. pinedful of that, we should be careful not to assume that a worst case scenario already has taken place and act accordingly because that could very well end up being a self fulfilling prophecy. >> i'd like to also add that pakistan is a -- >> [inaudible] >> i think that iran could find some islamic authority to say that the bombs are
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okay. >> okay, please. >> yes. my name is hef heff, i was born in tehran and this has an very wonderful discussion. and a few weeks ago, there was a conference with iran, with the nonaligned countries and the representatives of the nations came there, they presented six -- who represent 6 1/2 billion people on this globe, and the chairmanship was handed to president mahmoud ama indad, which was duly elected by the people of iran, and there was not much reports or take on it in our country here to know what they're saying, and it is so important to know if they really are taking 6 1/2 billion people in the world serious or not, if they don't account for anything. therefore, we do whatever we
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lack, and are we going to be able to be the same america that the world population loved us and everybody wanted to come here and realize the american dream, or or how have we ended up in such a quagmire that you have people hate us even more than they did six months ago? >> >> [inaudible] >> that's why that meeting took place in tehran, it was quite noted for all of the representatives of peace, but we should also not forget the fact that this was not a movement as it used to be during the cold war period. what is effected to the world leader, the negotiations, the
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talks were to the purpose of what egyptian president morsi said about syria, be ran, and now bay rain is expect -- bahrain is expecting a full apology from iran. so of course it's an important meeting, but we can see other circumstances where iran gather together many from around the world, not only at the official level like heads of state and government, but also, important figures -- for instance, the one was the general, the head of the strategic studies, and brought in people from harvard, from brookings, from all e